News

Shark victim's widow got news via text: 'It was Adam'

Meg Strange, right, the wife of shark victim Adam Strange, with a family friend at Muriwai Beach yesterday for the blessing. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Meg Strange, right, the wife of shark victim Adam Strange, with a family friend at Muriwai Beach yesterday for the blessing. Photo / Brett Phibbs

SOON after dropping off her husband Adam for a swim at Muriwai Beach, Meg Strange received news that changed her life forever.

She was having coffee with a friend at the nearby cafe when they heard there had been a shark attack.

Mrs Strange tried to contact her husband, who she expected to be on the beach after swimming from nearby Maori Bay.

When there was no response, her friend sent a text message to Muriwai Lifeguard Service chairman Tim Jago.

"I got the text, 'I hear there's been a shark attack'," Mr Jago told the New Zealand Herald yesterday.

"I said, 'Yes, I'm on the beach now.'

And she said, 'I'm having a cup of coffee with Meg. She can't contact Adam.'

"And I had to send a text back saying, 'It was Adam.' That's how quickly it happened."

About a dozen support people met Mrs Strange at the surf club rooms - a new building for which Adam had worked hard to raise money.

The 46-year-old television commercial and film director was training for a King of the Bays ocean swim.

Mr Jago made the formal identification of Mr Strange, who suffered terrible injuries in the prolonged attack. The ferocity and determination of the 3-4m great white shark stunned those who rushed to help.

"He wasn't letting go. Normally two boats out there, guns being fired and being whacked over the snout with a paddle a couple of times would be enough."

The lifesavers knew within minutes who the victim was.

"We knew he was training there and someone said one of ours was out there, so we had a quick text around and no one could make contact with him."

Meg Strange returned to the beach yesterday with family and friends for a blessing ceremony.

Arm in arm, they took off their shoes and let the waves lap at their feet while local iwi wailed karakia into the waves.

Friend Adam Stevens said: "It was a very dramatic sort of way to go. I can't think of anything, in a strange sort of way, more fitting. He just needed an explosion or something thrown in there for good measure."

Family members were struggling to come to terms with their loss, Mr Stevens said.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet. [Adam's daughter] Indigo is 2, so it's not something she's comprehended yet. His wife is an incredibly strong woman ... but I don't think you can describe the shock and anguish she's going through."

The family were now concentrating on the funeral, which will be held on Monday afternoon at the surf club.

Eyewitness filmed police shooting of shark. Watch the video below

Teenage surfer haunted by shark attack ordeal

A 14-year-old surfer who was the last person to see Adam Strange alive says he is haunted by the ordeal.

George Maoate was surfing at Muriwai with a friend when he saw Mr Strange swimming.

"I was just beside him. I stopped and he carried on. He was way out and took a left ... and that was the final time we saw him."

Seconds later, he heard Mr Strange cry out for help - and the water turned "dark red".

"I was just sitting out there looking at the horizon seeing if there were any sets [of waves] and all of a sudden there was red. Just red everywhere."

George then saw a commotion on the shore. "The fishermen were going crazy yelling for help and the whole gannet colony just flew up and circled the area - I'd never seen anything like it."

He struggled to make sense of what was happening around him. "I couldn't think. It was happening too fast, adrenalin was pumping ..."

George could remember hearing Mr Strange's desperate cries for help and his frantic arm waving above the waves. He was going to kick his board towards him but when he next looked up, Mr Strange was gone.

On the beach, people yelled for everyone to get out of the water and it was then, when George heard the words "shark attack", that he realised what had happened and how close he had come to the killer.

"I was trembling. I couldn't think at all. No emotions. Just adrenalin pumping really bad."

The horror has stayed with him. "I re-lived the moment last night in my dream. I couldn't sleep that well ... It's just terrible."

Topics:  editors picks new zealand shark attack



How rugby league is turning lives of young men around

Rugby league is turning the lives of young men at the Brisbane Youth and Detention Centre around.

Coach plays hard ball but the results are plain to see

Building a better future in detention centre school

COMMUNITY MINDED: Boys from the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre have built and donated a cubby house to the Women's Crisis Support Service.

Students construct valuable community projects and learn trades

Call out for greyhound adoptions

Brookwater resident Emee Botha with her greyhound, Schnuki.

Greyhound rescue agencies can't keep up with demand

Local Partners

Home town support spurs on Ipswich chef

Ben gets a little sweeter

Shannon Noll: What I don't like about The Voice

ON TOUR: Shannon Noll will perform in Ipswich on June 3 as part of a 35-show run.

Australian Idol veteran talks reality TV during 35-date Aussie tour

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

MASTERCHEF: David Thompson Thai test for Ipswich cook Nicole

Willowbank's Nicole Stevenson is a contestant on MasterChef Australia. Supplied by Channel 10.

"I love how he's being so true to the cuisine"

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!